Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Summer List

So I've dabbled in year long lists and holiday lists and now as it comes close to the end of my 39 Things I've decided not to start a 40 Things but to change to a seasonal list ... with a mix of booked in, must do's and would like to do's in a similar vein to my holiday lists but just over a longer time frame.

Some projects to finish ...
1. P365 photo book
2. US September 2009 slideshow
3. File and backup all photos from 2011
4. My 52 Photos.

Some new ones to start ...
5. December Daily
6. The kids current albums

With the family ...
7. Ski at Whistler
8. Go see some Christmas lights.
9. Complete the readings for our Jesse Tree this year ... I thought we'd missed the start day but I was just confused about the date ... I was running a day ahead.
10. Do at least one other Christmassy thing with the kids.

Yummy things to make ... not your everyday food
 11. Christmas Trifle
12. White Chocolate, Cranberry and Strawberry RockyRoad
13. Ice Magic
14. Fried Ice Cream
15. Baked avocado

Some random stuff ...
16. Turn 40 - if I cross anything off the list it will be this one :)
17. Reduce bread buying to one day per week ... I want to make our own most days.
18. Bottle summer fruits
19. Get a handle on the first part of my new job - EOM
20. Make and drink a big jug of Sangria ... not by myself
21. Try some homemade mosquito repellent
22. Start making my own muesli

With the kids ...
23. Make sponge bombs and use them.
24. Go around the point ... make sure the tide is going out!!

Around the house ...
25. Unpack the boxes
26. Once they're unpacked find something to put in and on the cabinet in our bedroom.
27. Restock the cupboards ... I let them run low prior to moving.

Finish Reading ...
28. Last Orders
29. How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth

Start reading ...
30. Why Church Matters
31. The God of Small Things
32. The Secret Scripture
33. The Open Secret
34. Raymond Feist Empire Trilogy

Some other stuff I must do ...
35. US VISAS ... we're transiting in LA on our way to Canada
36. New uniforms for the Big Girl and possibly The Boy
37. School shoes
38. School books
39. Enrol at uni.


Radical Together by David Platt

Unleashing a Radical PeopleRadical Together by David Platt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


As part of the Blogging for Books program from WaterBrook Multnomah, I received a copy of Radical Together, by David Platt for review. I haven't read his first book Radical but had heard many good things about it. This book looks at how to be radical corporately not just individually. A word of warning, don't open this if you like to be comfortable. I must admit the thought of putting everything on the table, open for question is a scary prospect but David Platt is spot on with his argument that this is what the church must do if we want to see God's work done. He asks the hard questions that desperately need asking and challenges us to let go of the good to do the best. The danger with asking these hard questions is that they can leave us feeling guilty without bringing lasting change. Platt addresses these issues in later chapters by focusing on the gospel and showing us how it is sufficient to sustain and strengthen the church over the long term.

This short book is broken into six chapters:

1.Tyranny of the Good: the worst enemy of Christians is good things in the church
2.The Gospel Misunderstood: the gospel that saves us from work save us to work
3.God is saying something: the Word does the work
4.The Genius of Wrong: building the right church depends on using all the wrong people
5.Our Unmistakeable Task: we are living -- and longing -- for the end of the world
6.The God who exalts God: we are selfless followers of a self-centered God

It's a quick read that I can definitely recommend.

Monday, November 28, 2011

On our weekend ...

The Big Girl's tennis was washed out, luckily the convenor from Scoresby rang before they left the club. I came back and made a big breakfast.

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I unpacked boxes, they made stuff ...

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It kept raining.

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They had a competition to see which team could put together a bedside table the quickest ... Little girl and hubby against Granddad and The Boy.

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One room finished ... it ended up taking all day to do all three kids rooms.

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They ignored the boxes.

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Cooking chocolate cake.

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The huge rubbish pile. Luckily we can drop off cardboard at the local transfer station for free on Sundays.

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Due to rain, pumping and shovelling mud required before the pour happens on Monday.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

This week's links ...

1. These recipe Christmas cards are a fantastic idea.

2. A funny cartoon from the dog house diaries: Resumes can make anything impressive.

3. Ali's list of December daily ideas. If you haven't seen it yet and you're planning on doing December Daily you must pop over.

4. Photos and brown paper wrapping ... no gift tags required.

5. How to Preserve Photos

6. Some ideas to jump start your journalling from Alexa.

7. I'm going to give this app a try to help keep a thanksgiving list ... me personally and the family collectively have fallen off the wagon a couple of times.

8. Also from Ann: We're going to use her Jesse Tree Advent Book this year.

9. We had this broccoli salad. Was good, a nice change from the usual.

Friday, November 25, 2011

This is what we woke up to this morning

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We moved yesterday plus the Big Girl had her graduation dinner. She looked fantastic. The house is covered in fine dust from all the work happening so I gave her strict instructions not to touch or lean on anything.

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She needed a haircut so Nan took her fro a trim and I got them to braid her hair for her. I wasn't quite in the right space to be braiding hair. Her dinner was at 6pm and the removalists didn't get to the new house and start unloading until 5pm.

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I'd made sure that her outfit was at the new house early in the morning and we took our hanging clothes across ourselves but I forgot about shoes for myself. I managed to find some pants and a black top so my casual shoes weren't quite as noticeable when we went up at 7pm for drinks and then the speeches. The removalists still had all the boxes to unload plus the kids mattresses ... we left them in the capable hands of the in-laws. After the dancing at the dinner the girls were put in alphabetical order and each girl gave a short speech about the next girl in line. It was really lovely and the also put prep photos of the girls up on the screen.

When we got home we had to scrounge some dinner because we were late to the supper and missed the food, before putting our bed together and hitting the sack.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's all happening at the house

Pool digging, carpet laying, deck building and fencing ... plus the central heating got commissioned, then promptly turned off, we won't be needing it for quite a few months.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On my weekend ... the plus edition

We took possession of the house on Friday ... there's a four page list of things that need fixing but it's looking pretty good. The Hubby with the paperwork:

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The Boy took his lego plane into school and then to speech therapy ... the plane pushed the lift button.

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The guy in charge of the company who finished the floor was not happy because it had been scratched at some stage so he came in Saturday morning to refinish it. That meant we couldn't go in the house for the day, then just socks on Sunday. Saturday was filled with packing ... the living room was slowly filling with a growing pile of boxes.

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The kids had more lego fun.

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After church on Sunday morning I spent until 3:30pm running to and from various birthday parties for the kids. Hubby dug holes.

Today and tomorrow the carpet layers are working, then Wednesday is blinds and curtains before we move in on Thursday. The Big Girl has a big week with Yr 7 orientation on Wednesday and her graduation dinner on Thursday. Her Nan is going to take her to the hairdresser on Thursday afternoon ... she needs a haircut and then they'll braid her hair for the night. I didn't think I'd be in the right space to sit down and braid her hair for her ... plus there might not even be anywhere to sit anyway.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

He's 8!!

 ... my baby is 8? I agreed to walk him into the classroom because it was his birthday ... he's still not that grown up.

He was very excited by the size of his present waiting at his place at the table this morning,

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but presents had to wait while we had breakfast. Hubby made the pancake cake. He is officially the pancake maker in the house now. Sing happy birthday, blow out the candles then tuck in.

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The present was a hit ...

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Him and the Big Girl spent all afternoon putting it together.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I've been reading ...

Fall of Giants (Century Trilogy, #1)Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: Welcome to the 20th century as you've never seen it. At over 1,000 pages, Fall of Giantsdelivers all the elements that fans of Ken Follett have come to treasure: historical accuracy, richly developed characters, and a sweeping yet intimate portrait of a past world that you'll fully inhabit before the first chapter is through. The story follows five families across the globe as their fates intertwine with the extraordinary events of World War I, the political struggles within their own countries, and the rise of the feminist movement. Intriguing stories of love and loyalty abound, from a forbidden romance between a German spy and a British aristocrat to a Russian soldier and his scandal-ridden brother in love with the same woman. Action-packed with blood on the battlefield and conspiracies behind closed doors, Fall of Giants brings the nuances of each character to life and shifts easily from dirty coal mines to sparkling palaces. There is so much to love here, and the good news is the end is just the beginning:Fall of Giants is the first in a planned trilogy. --Miriam Landis


I love books like these, with lots of characters, and multiple settings. Thoroughly enjoyable, looking at the time of the first world war from multiple perspectives. It drew me in from the first pages and although it was a very long book (864 pages and one of my chunkster choices), it kept me interested the whole way through. Even though there was quite a few main characters, they were given time to develop beyond the superficial.

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To the Tower Born: A Novel of the Lost PrincesTo the Tower Born: A Novel of the Lost Princes by Robin Maxwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was a very enjoyable look into a fascinating time in history, with Robin Maxwell imagining what might have happened in one of history's enduring mysteries, the disappearance of Edward and Richard of York from the Tower of London. Looking through the eyes of Nell and Bessie, extremely likeable heroines, there is plenty of twists and turns to keep your attention. Worth your time especially if you like historical fiction.

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Prince of the Blood (Krondor's Sons, #1)Prince of the Blood by Raymond E. Feist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: Set twenty years after the events in The Riftwar Saga, Prince of the Blood follows the adventures that erupt when a group of powerful nobles attempt to overthrow the Empress of Kesh, bitterly dividing the court. In the centre of the conflict are the two princes of Krondor, Borric and Erland. When Borric escapes and makes a desperate journey back tothe court to warn of the traitor’s plans – which if they were to succeed, would start a war that would twar the Empire apart. From the author of the phenomally successful novels in The Riftwar series comes the newly revised tale of swashbuckling adventure in one of the most popular fantasy worlds ever created. Prince of the Blood is the classic, action-packed saga of conflict and love, magic and legend, from the master of epic fantasy


After finishing the Riftwar Sage a couple of months back I decided to work my way through Feist's books. This was the next book on my list, the first in the Krondor's Sons series. I was reading this in the midst of writing essays so I didn't want or need anything too highbrow, just something that offered some relaxation. I enjoyed this one so much that I quickly moved onto the next in the series.


The King's Buccaneer (Krondor's Sons, #2)The King's Buccaneer by Raymond E. Feist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: Long recovered from the ravages of the Riftwar, the land and people of the kingdom of the Isles thrive. Nicholas, the youngest son of Prince Arutha, is intelligent and gifted but vastly inexperienced. In hopes of hardening him, his father sends him and his irreverent squire, Harry, to live at Rustic Castle Crydee to learn of life beyond the halls of privilege. But within weeks of Nicholas and Harry's arrival, Crydee is viciously attacked by unknown assailants, resulting in murder, massive destruction, and the abduction of two young noblewomen. The raiders have come from a pirate haven and are no ordinary foe ... but an enemy connected to dark magical forces that threaten the lands Nicholas will someday rule -- if he survives.


I just finished this one last night. I was readingthe end of this yesterday on trains and in breaks and I really didn't want to put it down when I had to. I'll be continuing with reading through Feist's list of books.

Monday, November 14, 2011

On our weekend ...

The Big Girl had youth group this weekend, the year 6's get invited to try it out before next year. Friday was the social night ... she loved it, had a great time and made a new friend. 

Saturday morning was tennis ... lessons for the two youngest and comp for the Big Girl.  Little Girl came home with the trophy for champ of the week from her lesson.

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When I got home with big Girl from tennis we headed straight out to pick the tiles for the paving at our new house.  Little girl had left a not on my computer to get the ingredients for raspberry chocolate brownie cheesecake ...she must have got a craving ... I was inclined to indulge her craving ... so while they did this ...
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She cooked and later that night we all enjoyed the results ... except the Big Girl who doesn't like chocolate and raspberry together. I don't get it either!

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The Boy got in his p.j.'s then "helped" daddy.

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Asian slaw ... yum

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On Sunday church then The Boy's sports party.

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Then home and time to play with his presents.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

This week's links ...

1. Good Stuff Holiday Guide - free online crafty magazine brought to you by Pip at Meet Me at Mikes.

2. Glow in the Dark Slime ... I know one little boy who would like this.

Friday, November 11, 2011

October by Numbers

Once again inspired by Julie ...





2 = the number of nights the Little Girl spent at camp.

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3100 = the number of words in my essay on the old testament's slave release laws.

6-3 = the score of the Big Girl's first ever set of singles in her first ever match of competition tennis.

69 = the number of pieces in our church art show. I reluctantly put in a photo, it's not something I would normally do. It's sitting on our shelf at home now and I love it. So glad I finally got something properly printed and on display ...I just put the label on while I took this photo to remind me when I was brave.

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7 = the number of times I travelled the Geelong road in the first week of October. We were staying at Pt. Lonsdale but I travelled up to Melbourne for the Grand Final that Collingwood lost, a special members only family night at the museum to see the Tutankhamen exhibition, to go to class and hand in my essay and then finally home on the Friday.

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3 = the number of birthday parties I went to. MIL's 70th, a friend's 40th and my Little Girl's 10th. Plus the Little Girl went to 2 parties and The Boy one.


5 = the number of hours the Big Girl and I spent at Chadstone finding a dress and shoes for her upcoming graduation dinner.


2 = the number of mini chocolate bars shared between the mega group of trick or treating five year olds that rocked up to our door. The conversation:

Me: (opens the door) I'll just see what we've got ...

Mum: Here give them this (holding out a mini Mars Bar)

Me: There's about 12 of them.

The accompanying parent calls out from the door: one thing is fine.

We scrounge the last cherry ripe bar to give to them as well. Luckily no further visitors rocked up ... we literally had nothing else to offer ... we live in Australia not the US!!


13 = the number of plates dished up for dinner on the Monday of the long weekend ... and that was after Hubby had gone back to Melbourne for work.

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5 = the number of kilos of strawberries we picked and ate over the weekend ... this was the last of them.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

On our weekend ...

Hot weather and jobs ...

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and that's about it ... oh we did go to a cocktail night on Friday for new parents at the senior school and an information session for youth group ... The Big Girl starts high school next year.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just popping in ...

I'm in the midst of getting the house ready for the "open for inspection" this afternoon and while that's on  I will be popping in to uni to hand in my essay (which is currently printing ... yay!!) so I'm just popping in to direct you over to Cate's blog where I was guest posting yesterday.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This week's links ...

1. My kids have had a couple of the crystal growing kits (both the tree and the mountain scene). Here's how to make your own crystal tree.

2. Lists of handmade holiday tutorials on Everything Etsy and Meet Me at Mikes.

3. Moments of Generosity and Gratitude

4. Building Executive Functions through play.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Week in the Life - The Book

My Week in the life book arrived in October. I took all the photos using the instagram app on my iphone and used blurb instagram books to put it all together. Blurb collects all your photos off your instagram stream and improves the quality for printing. Then I just added the words and time from the photos and I was done. It is a 7inch square book.

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A daily selection of the words and photos: Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Friday and Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011